But nicely, of course. After all, you’re not perfect either. Lilian Loo, senior therapist from Reach Counselling, has this advice, based on the results of our poll.
1 HE DOESN’T RESPOND WHEN YOU SPEAK TO HIM Yes, it is frustrating when you have to repeat yourself several times before getting an answer from Hubby. But your spouse’s inattentiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s ignoring you. “Men can become so absorbed in their tasks that they don’t want to be disturbed,” says Lilian. “If you want to catch up with him or talk to him about something important, let him know. Agree on a proper time to talk, away from the distractions of TV or technology.”
If you feel he’s unresponsive most of the time, even when he doesn’t seem to be busy, tell him how frustrated you feel when it happens. “Give concrete examples of the times when you talked to him and there was no response. Let him know how tiring it is to have to repeatedly ask him a question before getting an answer. Hear his reasons why and ask that he gives you an immediate reply the next time you ask him something,” suggests Lilian.
2 HE’S ALWAYS LATE
Tell him how his lateness is affecting your life. Get him to give you a heads-up if he is running late, so that you can manage your time better.
You may also wish to add at least a 15-minute buffer to your appointment time with Hubby. Arrange to meet him at 7pm if your dinner booking is for 7.15pm. Even if he turns up late, you’ll still make your initial reservation.
3 HE PASSES GAS AROUND YOU
If you don’t want to hurt his feelings, try the subtle approach first. “Move away each time he does that – so he'll know that you find his habit offensive,” says Lilian. If he still doesn’t get it, then tell him directly to move away from you if he needs to pass gas.
4 HE’S JUST SO FORGETFUL
Constantly remind him of his appointments or tasks. “We are all connected by technology now so just text him to jolt his memory about upcoming events, especially the important ones,” advises Lilian.
5 HE DOESN’T LIFT A FINGER AT HOME
“Discuss how the issue can be dealt with together,” says Lilian. If need be, draw up a list of weekly chores or family duties to be shared between the two of you. “Try not to give him ultimatums – they may work well for some couples but they can backfire for others. It’s better to just talk to your husband respectfully about the problem and resolve it together.”
6 HE DOESN’T PICK UP AFTER HIMSELF
Discuss a way to manage it that will satisfy both your needs, urges Lilian. “I know someone who shoves everything she picks up off the floor into a box. When the box is full, that’s the time for the ‘owner’ (her husband) of the items to sort out his mess. Another friend is more
“As the local saying goes: Before marriage, open your eyes. After marriage, close one eye. Although sometimes, it helps to close both eyes.” – Lilian Loo, senior therapist from Reach Counselling
creative. She bins everything that she picks up – her husband’s stuff never sees the light of day again.”
While this may seem to be the most effective way to get the message through to your man, it may also incur your spouse’s wrath, so know when and with whom to use this trick, warns Lilian.
7 HE PICKS HIS NOSE IN PUBLIC
There are no two ways about this – just tell him that people can see him picking his nose. So he should stop doing it in public, if he wants to avoid the embarrassment of being stared at. But he may not care, so be prepared to live with his mannerisms, points out Lilian.
8 HE LIKES TO BARGE INTO THE BATHROOM – WHEN YOU’RE USING IT
Lock the toilet door every time! If he can’t come in, he can’t invade your privacy.
9 HE NEVER PUTS THE TOILET SEAT DOWN
Put up a sign near the toilet as a reminder to everyone, not just Hubby. “Alternatively, bear with each other’s habits. You, too, may not lift the toilet seat as much as your husband does not put it down,” notes Lilian.
10 HIS OVERALL BAD HYGIENE
Don’t say anything hurtful. Instead, gently talk to your spouse about the one or two habits that bother you the most – since you can’t change all of them – and think of creative ways to deal with them as a couple. He may simply need to shower more often or wear deodorant.
If he recycles his worn clothes for two to three days in a row, you can help by throwing them into the laundry basket each day and putting out a new set of clothes for him daily.